Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová

Works * CV * PDF portfolio

Prime numbers
Nascent States
aCtivaTe aMok, not a causaL chAin

A carpet covering the entire floor of the room displays a space-time diagram in an attempt to create a visual representation of the three dimensions of height, width and depth as well as the fourth dimension, a relationship between time and space. Across the room, an array of curved, shiny metallic rods rises up from the floor like a three-dimensional bulge. A formation of hanging branches provides a perch for two Amazon parrots - an explicit connection to Aldous Huxley’s novel 'Island', a social utopia whose inhabitants coexist in a society that is not defined by conventional values such as capital, social success and power. The birds cry out “Attention” and “Here and now” as they fly about the island in order to direct their focus toward the present moment and ensure they are always mindful of themselves and the world about them.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Attention! Here and now, boys! Here and now!, 2015
installation, carpet, wire, trained parrots, oneida bowls, ropes
installation view, GAK Bremen, photo: Tobias Hübel

'Totems' consist of charred books whose individual titles are no longer recognisable, thus merging into sculptural works. The books represent the foundations of our culture and education, knowledge and reason, rendered unusable and thus deprived by the artists of their function, and yet, in their vertical arrangement and fragility creating a new, majestic quality. Robbed of its capacity to communicate meaning, language figures (here) as a work of sculpture. The formation of these Totems refers to diverse geometric forms seen in Constantin Brancusi’s plinth sculptures, while, in terms of content, connecting with the social utopias of such artistic avant-garde movements as Futurism and Constructivism.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Totem, 2015
sculpture, books, resin
installation view, GAK Bremen, photo Tobias Hübel

'Things in Our Hands' are made of melted Euro coins and bear the traces of hand and finger prints. They appear as hybrids of prehistoric tools, weapons and worry stones, subverting the value of their raw materials within our economic system. The title of the work refers both to the easily recognisable hand prints and to the fact that the raw material from which these sculptures have been crafted – coins – pass through many hands while in circulation.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Things in Our Hands, 2014
sculpture, melted euro-cent coins, 130x130x120cm approx.
photo Tobias Hübel

'What’s What and What It Might be Reasonable to Do about What’s What' encourages liberation from the education and common value systems, in order to attain a state of mind which enables new ways of thinking and acting. An English dictionary lies open within the confines of a glass pedestal. But this is not the celebration of condensed human knowledge that it might seem to be at first glance. Its cover and bindings are swollen and the pages stuck together, after the book was soaked in liquid LSD and thus symbolises both a loss of control and the renunciation of what we believe to know and seek to comprehend through reason.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, What′s What, and What It Might be Reasonable to Do about What′s What, 2015
sculpture, English dictionary, lysergic acid diethylamide, 20x20x20cm

On a temporarily improvised parking lot, right in the city center of Lublin, the artists created an archaeological place for the future by transforming the present into past. The intention is to preserve a generic contemporary office with all its appliances, accessories and elements under the ground in such a way that when the developers - lawyers/politicians/businessmen/mass-media - will dig in the near of farther future for the purpose of raising another needless office building, they will find traces of their past. This discovery would hopefully work for them as a memorial for the wretchedness of their deeds, a message in a bottle from the past, a sort of memento-mori. The title ‘Strip, Map & Sample' refers to an archaeological method that is undertaken when a site is to be destroyed by development and no satisfactory method of preserving archaeological remains in situ can be devised or adequate funding and time has not be factored into development project planning to allow for a full archaeological investigation.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Strip, Map & Sample, 2015
installation, 300x400x250cm

'when you're adibas and you're dreaming of becoming adidas' is an uncontrolled performance consisting of a theatre play written on 388 €5 banknotes. Each line of the play was hand-written on a separate €5 bill (the most accessible banknote - people of all classes have equal chances to get hold of it). Every bill is connected to the previous one, creating a chain of meanings, yet being comprehensive enough to stand and go around as a solitaire. The play written specifically for this occasion and format by Nicoleta Esinencu, a Moldavian playwright, takes as point of departure a recent scandalous story from nowadays Moldavia when a father cuts his son's finger off for stealing money from his pocket. This fact is developed into a fictional - although reflecting the absurd reality, the psychology of money, the current monetary relations and the abstractness of the idea of finance and economy - and spectacular life career of this boy.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, when you′re adibas and you′re dreaming of becoming adidas (a theatre play for europe), 2011-13
installation, 386 €5 banknotes, ink, text by Nocoleta Esinescu, leather box


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Freedom Trash Can, 2013
sculpture, steel, resin, lamps
installation view at waterside contemporary


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Nom de guerre, 2013
installation, gold chains and jewellery, 600cm

Clash! imitates piles of stones usually found on streets or construction sites. Referencing stones that are often used by street demonstrators with the intention to harm, the stones’ potential role as impromptu weapons is here transformed by the use of material to create them. Fabricated over many days in porcelain, and hand-painted with acrylic paint to resemble the appearance of real stones, these objects are in fact very thin, eggshell-like and hollow inside, becoming precious and vulnerable objects that are uncanny and prop-like. Able to be touched by visitors, the stones are open to potential damage or even destruction over the duration of an exhibition - a potential change in the state of their existence that reflects the artists’ interest in a dynamic interaction between audience and artwork that triggers precisely the dialectics they intend to represent.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Clash!, 2012
installation, porcelain, acrylic paint, dimensions variable


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Politiques de l’amitié (after Jacques Derrida), 2012
installation, book transformed into confetti


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Death defeats, creates, repeats, 2012
video, to-channel projection, 21’40”


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, After the Order, 2011
, 60x180x60cm

In 1906 Vilfred Pareto, an Italian sociologist and economist, noticed that 80% of Italy's wealth was owned by 20% of the population and the rest 80% of inhabitants shared the remaining 20% of resources. The Pareto principle (also known as the 80:20 rule) became an economical equation that reflects the uneven distribution of the global wealth. In 1937, Joseph M. Juran conceptualized the 80:20 principle and extended it to the rule of The vital few and the trivial many, claiming that 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes. Its universal application makes it one of the most useful concepts and tools of modern-day management.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, 80:20, 2011

The video Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better uses a universal symbol of protest, a raised fist - a form emblematic of the workers’ and the Communist revolution that is reactivated as a revolutionary image. As an impressive fist-shaped balloon that dominates and drags along the people who are trying to navigate it, it reveals its nature as a fixed ideology that, despite the airy promise of its new and lighter form, takes on a life of its own, different from the hopes and beliefs that were initially invested in it. The question the artists seem to raise here is how to free revolution and protest from their own representations, from their ideologically reified and commercially fetishized image. This video shows one possible strategy for dealing with this problem of image: it is in the materialization of the image, in its making into a quasi-living object.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Try again. Fail again. Fail better., 2011
video, 07’57”


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, The Diplomatic Tent, 2011

Never odd or even is a video in which we are using the technique of self-bondage to create a palindromic entity. Self-bondage is a (sado-maso) process, in which one binds herself with ropes in order to disable partially or completely movement for a chosen period of time. We are using this technique in an unusual way - to bind ourselves together. Each of us is binding herself, nevertheless by intermingling the ropes we create a configuration, which is restrictive for both of us (whenever one moves it hurts the other one) and the sculpture (or monster) we create is palindromic - we try to create an entity that looks the same from both sides (Janus) and where the individual traits are suppressed (masks on faces, each of us wears the other one's face).


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Never Odd or Even, 2011
video, 13’40”
video still


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, The Others 1 (from the series The Others), 2011
photography, c-type print, 58x43.5cm

Darwin's theory of evolution is one of the fundaments of our notion of the past and present state of mankind. This theory states, that contemporary species and forms are descended from earlier forms, that themselves developed from even earlier forms. Forces at play in the evolution of species can be explained with three basic and closely linked principles - individual variation, the proliferation of species and individuals and the natural selection. Natural selection is a complex of processes that generate the criteria of attractiveness of individuals, their preference, proliferation and survival. The senses of man and lower animals are so constituted that bright colors, certain forms and sounds are perceived as pleasurable and are called beautiful. Sexual selection thus enriches natural selection with aesthetic and subjective factors and personalizes it through the expression of will, desire or pleasure of the individuals.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, 2010
video, HD video, 35’

Before or After is a series of collages that takes as its material photographs of women protests and then dubs their slogans. The work takes on a specifically Western history of protest – the feminist demonstrations throughout the 20th century. The original slogans from the images are replaced with new ones, which seem to undermine the determination of the dissent they were meant to voice. Instead of demanding rights and expressing discontent, the new slogans embrace the very dichotomies and contradictions, which are generally accepted to make women the “weaker sex”. Image or text, love or hate, high or low – none of the banners seem to make clear what the manifestation is about. The protests thus become not only feminist but feminized. The women in the collages boldly manifest their doubts and fragility as a new kind of protest – one that does not seek the women’s rights in a man’s world, but that changes the rules of the game and the meaning of protest altogether.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Before or After, 2011
installation, collages, glass


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Memory without History (A Memorial to Lida Clementisová), 2009-
installation, plants (Clematis Hybrids), slide projection
nstallation view Christine König Galerie, 2011

The video depicts a group of majorettes marching across an urban space, apparently performing a generic choreography. However, the majorettes, instead of following the usual terpsichore, actually broadcast a message coded in Semaphore, an old-fashioned signal language. Semaphore is a system of conveying information by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, disks or hands. Information is encoded by the position of flags, and is read when these are in fixed positions. The phenomenon of majorettes, groups of girls dressed in quasi military sexy uniforms marching during parades, is an atavism from the early 1900s, the times when modernistic canons infiltrated popular culture. Consisting of synchronized movements of female bodies and skilful baton twirling, this human ornament is a sexually loaded spectacle and a favoured decoration of public festivities.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Manifesto of Futurist Woman (Let′s Conclude), 2008
video, 11’13”

The world of politics is predominantly male. Politicians became celebrities and their personal affairs overshadow their political decisions and distract public attention by feeding the front pages of tabloids. The political became personal. Nevertheless, this spectacular pseudo availability does not change a thing on the fact that people do not have any influence on political resolutions and no real access to power. The video shows the artists in an intimate setting, lying in bed and chatting about the most powerful men of the world politics. The casual and very relaxed atmosphere evokes a typical girlie talk, full of jokes, laughter, and giggles. One by one, the world leaders are submitted to uncompromising judgment, admitting only the criteria of physical (un)attractiveness.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Dialectics of Subjection #4, 2006
video, SD video, audio, 12’56”

All periods in Capital consists of 22591 handmade clay globules, painted black and put into a generic white plastic bag. These globules represent the materialization of all periods of Karl Marx’ Das Kapital (Das Kapital, Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie, Verlag Marxistische Blättter, Frankfurt am Main,1976, vol.1), that were counted and rolled one by one. One clay marble took an average of 14 seconds to be finished, meaning all 22,591 pieces were done in 316,274 seconds, or 5271 minutes, which equals 87.8 working hours.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, All Periods in Capital, 2007
installation, clay, acryl paint, plastic bag

The Tips offer a blunt and matter-of-fact list of advice for Eastern European women who want to succeed in the West. The work deals with the cliché of the Eastern European woman going to the West to find a rich husband, but the irony of the advice reveals what has been a reality for generations of young women who continue to leave their home countries in hope of a better life. The tips are a reminder of the almost utopian post-communist dream-image of the West, which quickly turned bitter when confronted with the harsh reality of unemployment, competition, discrimination and sexism.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, 10 Tips for Eastern European Women, 2006-2011
drawing, marker pen on wall, Slovak, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian, Serbian

Blondness is often a question of culture rather than nature. Hair colour has long been a marker of intellectual and emotional qualities. Blondness became the physical incarnation of stupidity, while the dominant portrayal of the blonde is someone who is sexually available and somewhat dependent on men. Blondes are one of the few safe targets for jokes in today’s politically correct society. These jokes are usually misogynic and silly, asking the listener to imagine stupidities incongruous enough to be absurd. Haiku is a collection of altered universally notorious blonde jokes. Using Google’s translation program, the artists transformed them from the original English language to Japanese and back. Due to the inability to get the essence of the jokes, the automatic software created texts that lost their original content, but became charged with a poetic quality resulting from dysfunction.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Haiku (How the blonde which is fridge...), 2007-2009
installation, neon tubes, transformers, electric wires, 45x170cm

International Private Collection consists of various objects which the artists stole in the years 2005 to 2008 from renowned private galleries for contemporary art in Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna, Zurich, and New York. They focused only on the most known galleries that have a strong position on the market, participate in the most prestigious art fairs and events, and thus dictate the trends of the entire artistic machinery and declare themselves the arbiters of quality and value in art. However, while stealing, the artists focused exclusively on banal things that are easily replaceable, creating a collection of objects from everyday life. Conceived as a gesture of piracy (an intentional disruption of the existing chain of artist-curator-collector), the work is an attempt to undermine the orthodoxies of a capitalist market within the art system.


Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, International Private Collection, 2005-2009
installation, various objects stolen from art galleries